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  • Writer's pictureAndi


This week I am reading a well-known book by Dr. Gabor Mate called “When the Body Says No”. Dr. Mate talks about how suppressing our emotions causes our bodies to be in a state of “dis-ease”. Over time our bodies say, “Enough. Please pay attention!”. This typically shows up as headaches, stomach aches, neck pain, back pain, and dental issues. We are all human and can’t be in a state of mindful awareness 100% of the time but how we process anxiety and frustration has a direct impact on our health. I typically don’t hold a grudge for very long because it takes up too much of my energy. When we carry around a grudge, we are putting our bodies into stress mode. You will notice a lot of your thoughts and conversations circle back to the situation or the person. I have a friend who refers to these situations as being an “oxygen thief”.

Think of a grudge as a kite attached to us with a very long string. The kite will blow with the wind but still be tethered to our bodies and follow us wherever we go. While we are holding onto this kite, it will distract us and cause us to miss beautiful moments in the present.

Here are some questions and steps to help you release your kite:

1. First, identify why you felt /feel offended.

2. Dig deeper, put the emphasis on yourself and be honest to see why you are so upset. We all have our own blind spots which are easier to work on vs. trying to fix someone else.

3. Is there something you can do to release the situation?

4. Is there a pattern with other people or is it only tied to this one person/situation?

5. Do you even want to release the kite or are you too attached to the kite?

6. If it’s ongoing, can you separate yourself from the situation/person in the future?

Once you have made the decision to take a Do Over and live without the kite, take an imaginary scissor to the string of the kite, and say to yourself that you are no longer going to drag the kite along. Then take a deep breath, cut the string, and let the kite fly away. If the grudge finds its way back to you, quickly cut the string and again let the kite fly away. Repeat as often as you need to. I did this at a conference back in October 2022 I cut my kite and since then I have had space to encounter new people and new situations that fill me up. The bonus is that my chest and stomach aches that were tied to my situation have completely subsided.

In another situation, I held a grudge for almost a year. I ran a department for 4 years in a position I loved. The department was taken over and I was cut from my job just as we rolled out a new platform that I had spent a full year developing. I was devastated at the decision and the way it was handled. But I accepted the As-Isness and took a paid pause for a few months. I was still very hurt and angry when I went back to work in a new position a few months later. One day I walked into an elevator where it was just me and the person who had eliminated my position. I saw his face drop. My first instinct was to back out of the elevator, but I got on. I could have stood facing the door and remained silent. I decided that I did not want him to have my power, so I looked him in the eyes and said that while I did not appreciate how the situation was handled, I was in acceptance, and I hoped it was going well in the department. He was so tongue tied that he said, “Yes, we should go out for coffee, you would be excited to hear how well the platform is doing”. I was so surprised at this response that I kept a blank face and did not respond. His face was bright red as it was such a silly thing to say. At that moment I got off the elevator giggling to myself, and I realized I had cut my kite. Since that day it never bothered me if I saw him in the hallway. As I pass this story to you, it’s another example how our experiences with pain often become teaching points in the future.

For Parents:

I’ve seen parents holding a grudge against their young child for disrupting their day. I have also seen parents hold a grudge against their child’s teacher or friend even though the situation happened years ago. Often this grudge is still there for the parent, but not the child. Children live in the present while adults live in the past or the future. Grudges between children are often fueled by the parents. If you find you are continuously holding grudges against your children, I can help you take a Do Over to reframe your mindset and break the cycle from anger to compassion. For children who hold grudges, give them the space to decompress and work it through. Depending on their ages, take them through the steps above and I am always here to help guide you if the cycle continues.

Research shows that stress is a catalyst to many serious diseases. Releasing our kites will do wonders for us both emotionally and physically. The next time you are holding a grudge take a Do Over, dig deeper into yourself, and see if you can release your kite. If this feels too surface or unrealistic, I can help you talk it through. Make the investment into yourself and in your health.


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Ita T
Ita T
May 22, 2023

Great analogy and wonderful process you recommend to release grudges!! Definitely worth a try!! I also need to release a grudge from a very painful experience. I will try this!!! Thank you!


sherry stein
sherry stein
May 21, 2023

Always welcome your wise words to help us be our best selves

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